Being Tested By The Universe: How To Tell If You Should Keep Going Or Not

Being Tested By The Universe

In high school, I tapped into my nerdy side on a regular basis. I didn’t necessarily love school or exams, but I always came prepared to ace the test.

I have a feeling you did too!

One of the good and bad things about school tests is that you get graded. You know if you did well or not, according to someone else’s standards and opinions.

Business often feels like a series of tests. Except the big difference is that there is no right or wrong answer, and no one is out there telling you if you did it right or not.

The only real indicator of success tends to be your bank account balance…

Business is like a test, but there are no right or wrong answers…

You only have yourself and your results to go by. Sometimes it’s easy to know if you’re on the right track because the clients are knocking on your door, the money is flowing in, and you’re seeing tangible results from your business building efforts.

But other times, it’s like writing out a long essay that you thought was brilliant and you just don’t know why the teacher didn’t give you an A…

You’re doing all the right things, you’re blogging, list building, launching… You’re getting on the phone with potential clients, building the beautifully branded website, and networking your buns off

But the results aren’t there yet.

And that’s when it happens. The universe decides to test you. Except this isn’t like school anymore, this is real life.

Right when you’re about to pull your hair out because you didn’t have the turnout you expected during your webinar… an old colleague will offer you a full-time job.

Or you’ll get a client for work you decided you no longer want to do. Better yet, someone you love and admire will ask you to leave your business behind and join theirs as an employee.

All of the above has happened to me in my entrepreneurial career while I was being tested by the Universe.

One of the biggest tests I faced was before I “made it big”. I was a year or two into my first business, and things were good but I wasn’t making the kind of money I knew I could be… I was also pretty stressed out running my business.

I just didn’t have that much experience running a business, so there was a lot of stuff to constantly be worrying about.

Out of the blue, I was approached by a semi-famous online business personality to come join his company full time (I’m not going to name names here, but let’s just say he’s doing quite well for himself right now).

I was flattered that he wanted me to join his company, and pleased that he could see my potential. But I also knew that if I left my business, I’d be leaving behind all the hard work I had put into it…

It took some soul searching, because I recognized that this was a “golden opportunity” but I also knew deep in my heart that it wasn’t the right path for me.

How To Ace The Universe’s Test

It’s weird, because it always seems that right when you’re feeling down about your business is when these “easy solutions” show up to see if you’re really committed to the direction you’re headed in.

A great analogy is when you decide to eliminate gluten from your diet or just eat healthier, and then the next thing you know your friend wants to take you to the best pasta joint around.

This makes you question your decisions, and it can really slow down any progress you were already making.

I really believe that most people are just a few “business slumps” away from making it big. Perseverance is really key though, and if you stop putting yourself out there and retreat back inside then you’ll lose the momentum you’ve built up.

We all go through ups and downs in business, and if you let a down week take you out of the game then you’re missing out on all the foundational work you’ve been setting up for months or years.

So when you get this miraculous opportunity that’s actually taking you away from where you want to go, you need to feel into it and re-commit to your direction.

There is no right or wrong answer. It’s a test, but there’s no teacher grading you at the end of your life… so you need to be the one who makes the final call and you are the one who will live with the decisions you make. So getting good at making decisions from your you-ness is really important.

We can all make decisions based on what we think others want for us: our parents, peers, and society at large.

Being Tested By The Universe

Keep Going Even When You’re Being Tested By The Universe

You’ll be tested on a regular basis: daily even. When there’s a cool new business model you want to explore, when a well known person asks you to collaborate on a project that doesn’t mesh with where you’re going, and when you get sidetracked on your path.

One of my first business resolve tests was right out of college. I was graduating with a good degree in an in-demand field, and I got offered a job on Wall Street. Sweet, right?

Except I had always talked about starting my own business. I even shared my business vision with Robin on our first date in college, but when faced with actually turning down a solid job offer in exchange for an unsure thing… it took some guts.

So how can you know if you’re really on the right path and or if this new opportunity is the thing you should pursue?

I think it takes a lot of self knowledge and introspection.

It also takes sticking to your gut, even when the outside world makes things look easier and shinier “out there”.

Have You Been Tested?

I’d love to know if you’ve run up against any tests from the world at large… leave a comment below and let me know how you dealt with it!

23 Comments

  1. Joni on July 30, 2014 at 10:47 am

    This really resonated with me, “it always seems that right when you’re feeling down about your business is when these “easy solutions” show up to see if you’re really committed to the direction you’re headed in.” I wish I’d heard it three years ago!

    I have three “things” that I do, and I’ve tended (past tense) to let the ones I’m not focused on distract me from the one I really want to pursue. I’m building the one I want right now, and just this week had two people ask for energy healing sessions (not my focus, but one of my “things”). So this article comes at the right time for me – a reminder that it is just a test and to stay true to my course.

    It’s not that I can’t have fun doing some energy sessions here and there, but knowing that I’m being tested in my commitment to my main gig is very helpful.

    Thanks, Nathalie!



    • Nathalie Lussier on July 30, 2014 at 12:50 pm

      Thanks so much for sharing your story Joni! It’s amazing when you want to do healing sessions, but if that’s not where your main focus is at the moment then you can thank the universe for sending these your way… and recommit to your main course of action. :)

      Lovely lovely sharing!



  2. Margaret LeDane on July 30, 2014 at 10:50 am

    After finishing my sales page for my 12 week group program through LIP, but still having many negative feelings about my business and me in general, low and behold I got a private client to test it out and she’s doing amazing!! She has so many compliments about the program and me that now I feel like I can sell it to the world with no problem. Thank you universe for sending her to me and giving me a brand new outlook on my hard work!! I just needed one last sign to not give up because eventually you get rewarded:)



    • Nathalie Lussier on July 30, 2014 at 12:52 pm

      Aww now that’s so beautiful Margaret! I think telling the world about our products can bring up a lot of doubts (writing sales pages is definitely one of those places!)… but remembering that you’re doing this to help people can bring it all back into perspective.

      Woohoo!



  3. Rachel {the Passion Plan coach} on July 30, 2014 at 11:03 am

    Great post, Nathalie! YES, I feel like I’m being tested pretty much constantly, but in particular right now. I’ve been working for myself full-time since January (but started the business long before that), and we (my biz partner and I) haven’t yet transitioned into things feeling easy or even stable. I think we’re *slowly* building momentum, but I don’t yet know when the momentum will take over so that we can take a break. It’s exhausting! There are some days when we both wonder if it’s worth it, but nothing’s going to convince me to go back to working full-time for anyone else, so keeping it at is pretty much the only choice! I just hope that we’re right that *eventually,* things will become more easy and natural, and it won’t feel so strenuous. I hope that day is more sooner, rather than later! :-)



    • Nathalie Lussier on July 30, 2014 at 12:53 pm

      I hope that day is just around the corner for you too, Rachel! I can definitely attest to things taking a lot of effort in the beginning to get the traction going… but once you’re in the swing, it does get easier bit by bit!



  4. sue bock on July 30, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    I love this post! You’re energy for life that I saw in your videos also shines here. As an entrepreneur and still in the work force, I find lots of test that surround time. It’s amazing how much that shiny new toy comes up. Thank you for such a supportive post.

    Sue Bock
    http://couragetoadventure.com/blog



    • Nathalie Lussier on July 30, 2014 at 12:55 pm

      I hear ya about the shiny new toys / trainings / etc that can come up! So glad this post resonated with you, and keep up the awesome work Sue!



  5. Dina Burke on July 30, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    From freezing buns off in Brooklyn to sweating buckets in Dallas! Welcome to the South, baby!
    Nathalie you always appear at my inbox doorstep at exactly the right time with exactly the right message. How do you know that? I am so very glad to know you and soak in your insights. What have I been doing what tests have I encountered and how did I deal?

    Since your OTC amazing and inspiring weekend 7 weeks ago I have been scurrying behind the scenes working on a new logo and new website for my Fall Launch and started Instagram and now have 90 active followers! Been reviewing all the wonderful training and focusing on my goal. Writing like crazy and getting my ducks in in a row for email pre launch campaigns. Is it easy? No! And Yes there are days !! My husband says ‘you don’t need to do this if it stresses you out – you’ve already proven yourself you can retire now if you want to .”
    IDK it is just this crazy inner passion maybe I am just stubborn foolish or both! But I have a vision. I have sought training and advice from experts. I just have TO DO IT. It’s my gut feeling and that has always been my guide and has always been right. On those ‘days’ I ask my dogs what they think, go for a walk or clean a room or do a mini fun thing and escape for a couple of hours. The biggest leap of faith recently is letting go of a $ safety net to move forward with a redesign. I feel things perculating and although it is not fast enough it is what it is supposed to be . We cannot now be who we were but no one can ever take away what we did and who we are now and who we are to become. And these are my marbles and my game and there is power in knowing that you are working your buns off for someone who really appreciates it!



  6. Valia Eskandari on July 30, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    This could not have come at a better time. I’m being tested right now and wondering if I’ve made the right decision. My business is growing but not at the rate I had hoped. I have lots of ideas but now I’m doubting whether any of them are good at all!

    Thank you for this. I’ll keep at it and not quite!



  7. Nora on July 30, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    Thanks for the great post Nathalie! In my short entrepreneurial experience, it seems tests are part of the job day in and day out (probably just part of life, really :)

    One test that came up last week was feedback I received from a beta client. I had two people test a program I created for free, one of them loved it and the other one said she was grateful she could test it but she would expect a lot more had she paid for it. When I read her feedback, my first thought was “Yeah, me too”.

    This program didn’t feel completely right from the get-go and it took negative feedback to make me stop and listen to my inner self. Results of the test and a lot of soul searching: I rethought the direction of my business and decided to start smaller. And this feels right!



  8. Charlie on July 30, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    Thanks Nathalie – golden advice at just the right time….once again :)



  9. Sasha Stone on July 30, 2014 at 11:51 pm

    Nathalie, your timing is impeccable! Right when I want to move my business in a whole new direction, I am maxing out on clients in exactly what I want to let go of. I am choosing to see this as a wonderful gift to fund my new endeavors, and an opportunity to release my current clients professionally and lovingly, with plenty of notice and the utmost integrity. Though it’s a fear inducing shift, I’m also excited for the transition. It’s time!



  10. Ellen on July 31, 2014 at 10:42 am

    I’m being so tested right now! I’m working with a great person to design my new website and online business (moving to the next level from ‘just a blog’ :-) ). But I have had more offers of freelance week in my ‘old’ world than I have had in an age, and today someone approached me with a possible 12 month project – which in my current universe feels like a long-term commitment. I’m still to decide on what’s sensible and balanced, and what’s not, but it’s a funny confluence of events, that’s certain…

    More self-knowledge and introspection needed.

    Thanks Nathalie!



    • Nathalie Lussier on August 1, 2014 at 10:51 pm

      I have a feeling you’ll come up with a sparkly idea that will solve this dilemma Ellen! :)



  11. Aleks Kadzielawski on July 31, 2014 at 11:45 pm

    Nathalie,

    You are so intuitive with your audience. I really needed to hear this since I feel like I’ve been getting tested these past two years in my new business. I was even contemplating going back to the corporate grind when things were not moving as smooth as I had hoped for. But I always manage to listen to that little voice that tells me to keep making my own path. Your words reconfirmed that it’s okay.

    You’re awesome!



    • Nathalie Lussier on August 1, 2014 at 10:50 pm

      Awesome Aleks – I’m so glad this came at the right time and I totally feel you on things not always going as smooth as you’d hope. Keep at it – you’re on the right track when your inner voice tells you so! :)



  12. Missy Cooke on August 17, 2014 at 10:43 am

    I have been tested with job offers/opportunities and taken the bait, twice.

    Both times I ended up blowing the offers, probably because I knew they weren’t right for me. Both times it set me back by months.

    I resolved not to be distracted by offers again, and now run everything I do through my core values filter, and compare that to my why. If it doesn’t mesh, it’s a no go.



    • Nathalie Lussier on August 17, 2014 at 11:44 am

      Hmm that’s so interesting Missy, that things didn’t pan out with the offers… I love that you’re now passing everything through your filter – that’s super wise and I’m sure things are going to go smoothly from here on out. :)



  13. Shingirai on September 6, 2014 at 11:02 am

    After having deleted a blog, I was left wondering if I should attempt relaunching my online biz or look for a job instead. Your great article above helped shed light on this struggle and I am quite sure this clarity will help me listen to the still small voice inside.



  14. Llyane @FrenchOnSkype on May 28, 2015 at 10:22 pm

    Oh, Gee… every day!
    I just know that the solution is always right in front of me, looking at me, it’s just me not seeing it, and that I can’t, I shouldn’t and I won’t leave behind the work I put in my brand to go for another path. I just have to make it so that even if it’s hard, to find the enjoyable side, so that I don’t end up paying a higher toll that I signed up for.



  15. Ryan on October 22, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    I think I’m being tested, but I don’t know for sure. My life is getting very difficult with the dream I am pursuing, but things are starting to materialize, and by that I mean big huge life changing things. And at the same time, my life is falling apart around me, and some opportunities are presenting themselves, and some I’m creating on my own.

    I’m producing a film, that I’ve had a dream about since I was 10. Now after a life off struggle, it’s finally starting to manifest, but I’m so exhausted from pursuing it. I don’t know how much more energy I can put into it before my actual soul shatters, along with my mind caving in, my emotional being going into complete apathy, and my body finally giving out physically.

    Producers, investors, directors, celebrities, mangers, agents, and so many other industry professionals are now starting to finally come out of the wood work, but I’m so tired and exhausted, on all levels. I’m afraid I won’t have the energy to enjoy it.

    What do you suggest?



  16. Sara on April 17, 2016 at 6:29 am

    Most definitely! Right now the Universe is testing me and after reading this article, I feel so relieved. Although I don’t quite know which direction my career is headed (after being made redundant 9 months ago), I know that doors aren’t opening for me cause I’m knocking on the wrong ones. I hated the work/job and here I am trying to find the same again. All I need is for the Universe to help direct me on the right path.